Big Day for Croatian Sport: Back-to-Back Euro Semifinals for Water Polo and Handball

Daniela Rogulj

January 23, 2020 – Friday is a great day for Croatian sport, as Croatia’s water polo and handball teams will play in the semifinals of the European Championships.

Namely, the Croatia water polo team will play the semifinal of the European Championship against Spain at 5:30 pm in Budapest, and half an hour later, the handball team will play against Norway in the semifinal of the European Championship in Stockholm. 

Originally, Croatia water polo was supposed to play at 7 pm, while handball was to play from 8:30 pm, but due to the demands of the hosts of both tournaments, it turned out that both matches will be played earlier.

For both teams, this will be the ninth semifinal in 14 appearances at the European Championship, while the Croatia water polo team has been more successful thus far.

The “Barracudas” made it to the final three times and won the European throne in 2010 in Croatia, while the “Cowboys” advanced from the semi-finals twice, but lost in the finals both times, in 2008 and 2010. In the first final in 2008, Croatia lost to Denmark (20-24), and two years later, Croatia lost to France (21-25).

The Croatia water polo team has won a total of 14 medals at the Olympics, World and European Championships, with gold medals in all three major competitions. Recall, they won the Olympic gold in 2012 in London, have two gold medals from the World Championships in 2017 (Budapest) and 2007 (Melbourne), and one gold medal from the European Championship 10 years ago.

The Croatia handball team has 13 Olympic, World, and European Championship medals, with two Olympic (2004, 1996) and world gold medals (2003), and two silver and three bronze medals at the Euros. 

Croatia water polo results in Euro semifinals:

1995 (Vienna): Croatia – Hungary 8-11 (4th place)

1997 (Seville): Croatia – Yugoslavia 7-8 (4th place)

1999 (Florence): Croatia – Greece 10-7 (2nd place)

2001 (Budapest): Croatia – Yugoslavia 6-8 (4th place)

2003 (Kranj): Croatia – Hungary 10-9 (2nd place)

2008 (Malaga): Croatia – Montenegro 7-9 (4th place)

2010 (Zagreb): Croatia – Serbia 10-9 (1st place)

2018 (Barcelona): Croatia – Serbia 7-9 (3rd place)

2020 (Budapest): Croatia – Spain (?)

Croatia handball results in Euro semifinals:

1994 (Porto): Croatia – Sweden 21-24 (3rd place)

2004 (Ljubljana): Croatia – 25-27 (4th place)

2006 (Zurich): Croatia – France 23-29 (4th place)

2008 (Lillehammer): Croatia – France 24-23 (2nd place)

2010 (Vienna): Croatia – Poland 24-21 (2nd place)

2012 (Belgrade): Croatia – Serbia 22-26 (3rd place)

2014 (Copenhagen): Croatia – Denmark 27-29 (4th place)

2016 (Krakow): Croatia – Spain 29-33 (3rd place)

2020 (Stockholm): Croatia – Norway (?)

Source: HRT

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